Kim Barloso

A short review of popular GPS navigators for iOS


Owners of Apple devices are often faced with the need to quickly navigate the terrain when they are traveling, helped by navigation apps. But each application has its own unique features, which may not be useful for a pedestrian or be unnecessary for drivers. Let us take a look at the most popular iOS navigation applications:

  1. Apple Maps
  2. Waze
  3. MAPS.ME
  4. Here Maps (Here WeGo)
  5. Citymapper

Apple Maps

Apple Maps is the default map application installed on all devices running iOS version 6 and higher (previously Google maps were used). Due to the fact that the application is released exclusively for iOS, it is not available on any other operating system.

Key features of iPhone navigator:

  • All Apple Maps features are absolutely free, as. the application is included in the basic set of applications
  • Ability to build a route avoiding toll roads
  • While following the created route, the screen shows the speed limit on the specific road section

The application may be used on iPhone without Internet, in offline mode: all maps are cached and correctly displayed even if the device has no Internet connection. However, it is better to build an expected route, while there is unlimited access to the network - the maps will be more detailed. Also Apple Maps can be used with enabled GPS navigation, but without Internet access - it will be enough to create a route.

The Apple Maps contain information about the roads around the globe. The only limitation is the 3D panorama mode, which is available only in major cities of the United States, Canada, Australia, Britain and some countries in Western Europe. In Russia, the functionality is limited to two-dimensional maps, as well as the service "Traffic jams" does not work (except for major cities).

The navigator for iPhone supports detailed voice support, deployed explaining exactly where to turn and which road to choose at the fork. The maps display large places, gas stations etc., as well as information about the public transport routes.

Waze Navigator

The main feature of the Waze navigation map is the active participation of the users in the application. For example, if you know for sure that there is a traffic jam or repair work on a certain road section, you can inform the application about it - the information will be updated in real time, so that other road users will choose another route. The app is completely free and available to iOS and Android users.

Key differences from other mobile navigators:

  • Ability to communicate with other users directly in the app, share routes, create appointments and track movements on the map;
  • App users participate in map formation, alerting about important events on the road;
  • The app is aimed at the youth audience, combining a navigator and a mini-RPG: For helping to inform other drivers, you will receive points, ranks and levels that do not affect anything, but add interactivity.

Waze can run offline. However, without internet connection, it will only work as a navigator - the application will not provide any information about traffic jams. Besides, it works well even if the Internet is slow or intermittently lost.

This mobile navigator uses its own maps combined with Google geo-data so the app helps to find the route almost anywhere in the world. Waze will pronounce what is happening allowing you to record your own voice variations.

The maps display traffic jams and information from other users such as current gas prices at popular gas stations.

Download Waze


The free navigation app MAPS.ME is available to download for iOS, Android and Blackberry devices. The application uses OpenStreetMap maps that can be customized by all users.

Key features of MAPS.ME:

  • Offline oriented - the Internet is only required to download the map of the selected area
  • Free off-line country maps are available (this feature is not present in the basic iPhone version)
  • Performable for drivers as well as for cyclists or pedestrians

MAPS.ME features a simple interface without redundancies as the application main function is maps and navigation. The program has a voice assistant that will warn of possible dangers on the road and upcoming turns.

The map displays all the necessary information - the nearest hotels, cafes, etc. The online version also updates data on the situation on the road. Download the navigator for iPhone and other iOS devices at the following link:


Here Maps (Here WeGo)

Originally developed for Windows Phone-based smartphones, the Here Maps application (renamed Here WeGo) is now also available for iOS and Android users. The app is free of charge and allows its users to edit maps and update information about various locations.

Interpretations of the Here Maps features:

  • The 3D mode is available in the selected cities
  • Automatic downloads of the underground and tram routes in all the supported cities

Voice guidance is provided in 96 countries, and traffic information is available in 63 countries only.

If you click on a specific building, you will get full information about the establishments located in it, and can also build a route to the specified point.

Download HERE WeGo


Citymapper is a free iOS and Android app suitable for anyone who prefers public transport to a personal car.

The important differences of Citymapper:

  • The app collects the data about the routes and timetable of the public transport from the carriers and the public, so that information is always up to date
  • The app takes into account the different ways of getting around the city - for example, the program knows how long you have to wait for an Uber to reach the indicated route or make a plan to ride a bicycle
  • The possibility to create a link with the coordinates of the selected point and send it to the social networks or an e-mail.networks or to e-mail

Citymapper is widely distributed abroad - in Russia only Moscow and St. Petersburg maps are available. The application is oriented to walking and cycling, so the various establishments near you are not loaded - to get to the right point, it is important to know its address. Accordingly, there are no voice prompts in the program, as pedestrians do not need them.

Download Citymapper

“Hello. My name is Kim. I discovered that technology, when used with a purpose, can be pretty amazing. To share the wonder of tech, I’ve written for blogs like and With over three years of freelance writing experience in the technology and entertainment niche, I can write a storm about a software app, a cool browser extension, a new mobile device and other geek-centric stuf... “

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Kim Barloso